Monday, January 31, 2022

Thinking Fluid


Sunday, January 30, 2022

Winooski (VT) microbrewery opens skate rink for customers's all one word.

It doesn’t get much more ‘Vermont’ than ice skating and beer. Now, one microbrewery in Winooski has decided to combine the two, opening their own little rink for customers to enjoy.

Bring your ID and your ice skates -- Four Quarters Brewing in Winooski has something new to bring folks in and it’s not an IPA.

“It leaked a little bit but we got it frozen over and so far so good. We even converted a little floor cleaner into a little mini Zamboni,” said Brian Eckert, the brewery’s owner. He says he got the idea from a popular Instagram account and has some friends make rinks in their backyards, too. “We just one day saw the patio and thought, if we cleared this, out we could probably try to do this just for fun.”

Read the whole story at WCAX.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Mario Goes Home

Wow, it's been a week already? Mario left Minnesota a few days ago, and after a quick stop in New York City, he and his daughter Lara are back home in Düsseldorf.

Our last day of brewery visits and beer tastings together was last Friday in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood, but my phone's battery died after the first stop, so I'll see if I can remember the rest of the day...

After some good beers at Wicked Wort, we continued on to Inbound Brewco. They had a couple of new beers on tap since we visited a couple weeks ago; the Goat Trouble Saison and the Barrel Aged RIS were particular standouts.

The North Loop neighborhood is great for brewery visits; there are four or five within walking distance, and street parking is only $1 per hour. So that was the plan: park the car at Inbound and walk from one to the next.

Difficulty: The high temperature was 23°F/-5°C, but that was at midnight. It had dropped to around -5°F/-20°C by the time we were downtown. Worse, the wind was howling down the streets, creating a biting wind chill temperature of -24°F/-31°C.

More difficulty: we walked down to the corner, to StormKing Brewpub & Barbecue, only to find that my information was incorrect, and they weren't open yet. But with Fulton Brewery just around the corner, we hurried on our way.

More difficulty: My information about Fulton was also incorrect, and they weren't open yet either. Even I was feeling the cold. We spotted a bar up at the next corner, and it looked like there was somebody inside, so we pressed on, leaving the car even further behind.

More difficulty: There was in fact somebody sitting inside; it turned out it was the owner, working on his books. First Draft Taproom wouldn't actually be open for a few hours. We decided that I would walk back to get the car, then drive back to pick up Paris and Mario. Then we could at least sit in the heated vehicle and plan our next moves.

So I walked back to get the car, then drove back to pick up Paris and Mario. They weren't standing outside when I pulled up, but my freshly-charged phone rang just as I was parking. It was Mario, saying that the owner saw them shivering and opened his doors early just for us!

First Draft was our first experience with a pour-your-own establishment, but owners Darren* and Andrew* enthusiastically showed us how it was done and gave us a tour of their 50-odd taps. Most of the taps poured beer, but there were a handful with wine and even some with whiskey!

*I'll apologize in advance if I got the names wrong; I have a memory like a steel sieve.

We spent a good long time at First Draft, pouring our beers-by-the-ounce and having a grand old time. In the meantime, I called Fulton to find out what time they'd be open, and as it happened they were open already. So we paid our bill and said our goodbyes to the great staff, and headed back into the bitter cold and down the street. Only this time, we took the car with us!

There was only one beer on the menu at Fulton that I hadn't had before (or wanted to try), but it was a good one. Jaromir Lagr is a damn tasty Dunkel (or Tmavé) with a damn clever name.

Continuing backwards along our original route, we returned to the now-open StormKing, the air redolent with the aroma of barbecue. Their Noble Pilsner was a fairly tasty American Pilsner, and the She Gone Rye and the Starless Schwarzbier were excellent.

The last stop was a couple blocks away at Modist Brewing. I only had room for two beers here, but they were both top-notch: Rye & Mild (I love me some rye) and Supra Deluxe, a Premium Lager.

And then we had to bring this three-day adventure to an end, taking Mario to his downtown Minneapolis hotel. We made 15 brewery stops plus one beer bar. I ended up with 44 new beers for the notebooks. Mario had 60 here in Minnesota, and 59 more in NYC and the various airports on the way home! He's already making plans to come back this summer so he can see the other side of our weather.

Pictures from Wednesday

Mario at Pryes Brewing

Paris and me at Pryes Brewing

Happy drinkers at Pryes
Utepils Brewing

OMNI Brewing

Aegir Brewing (obviously not from Wednesday)

Pictures from Thursday

OMNI Brewing (again)

Yoerg Brewing

Waldmann Brewery

Bad Weather Brewing

Clutch Brewing

Aegir Brewing (again, and obviously not from Thursday)

Pictures from Friday

Wicked Wort Brewing

Inbound Brewco

First Draft (from Google Maps)

Mario strides purposefully toward Fulton Brewing

StormKing Brewpub & Barbecue

Modist Brewing

Friday, January 21, 2022

North Loop Beers

 It's the third and final day of our Adventures With Mario. We'll spend the day in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis, where there are several breweries within walking distance of each other.

Mario has tasted 41 different beers over the past two days. He will be very disappointed if he doesn't reach at least 60 today.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Ein Düsseldorfer in St. Pauli

Yesterday was quite a success. We made it to four of the six breweries on the list, and had a couplethree more beers when we got home.

Today's plan is even more ambitious (see here), but you know we'll do our best!

Mario is having a great time, and it's been a whole lot of fun sharing beers and places with him, and we still have two days to go!

So let's get some breakfast in us and head east to Saint Paul!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A Visitor From Düsseldorf

Mario from 1000 Getränke is coming to Minnesota this week! He's been a leading contributor to Beer Me! for almost 18 years, and we finally get to meet in person.

I put together a very ambitious schedule of brewery visits, and I don't really expect us to be able to hit all of them, but...

Like I said, very ambitious. But we'll do our best, and you're welcome to join us!

#10830 Aegir One Love

 Here's another good beer from our local brewery: One Love, a 6.2% abv NEIPA from Aegir Brewing in Elk River, Minnesota.

Smooth and kinda slick, as the style demands. Bready and fruity and not real bitter.

Monday, January 10, 2022

#10829 Sierra Nevada Dankful

 Dankful, a 7.4% abv IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico, California, or maybe in Mills River, North Carolina. (Is there any way to tell which brewery a particular can came from?)

There's really no point in describing this beer in a whole lot of detail. Sierra Nevada have always been masters of hoppy beers, and this one is no exception. Think "kinda juicy Torpedo".

Friday, January 7, 2022

#10828 4 Noses 'Bout Damn Time

 'Bout Damn Time, a 7.1% abv IPA from 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield, Colorado. Got it at Wine, Beer, and Spirits in Grand Island NE.

Real tasty stuff. Medium body, nice bready malt, just bitter enough.

#10827 Bur Oak Cooper's Landing

Cooper's Landing, a 5.6% abv IPA from Bur Oak Brewing in Columbia, Missouri. Got it at Wine, Beer, and Spirits in Grand Island NE.

Real tasty. Clean biscuity malt and a big fruity hop flavor. Reasonably bitter. Kinda low-alcohol for the style, but the only real detriment was the big chunk of sediment that came out of the can at the end of the pour.

#10826 Jack's Abby Post Shift

Post Shift, a 4.7% abv German-style Pilsner from Jack's Abby Craft Lagers in Framingham, Massachusetts. Got it at Wine, Beer, and Spirits in Grand Island NE.

It's light, refreshing, and clean. Real nice balance. I like it.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Inbound BrewCo, Minneapolis MN

Paris and I had to drive to St. Paul the other day to get our boosters, so of course some post-vax beers were in order! Lots of breweries in the area, but only a few open in the early afternoon hours, so we decided on Inbound BrewCo in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.

It's a big, wide-open place. There's a party space in the loft, and the brewery is right out in the open for all to see. It's even dog-friendly.

All in all, the beers were really pretty good. The Laser Loon Kölsch was a real good clean beer, with a mild floral hop character.

Fruit of the Loop is a nice West Coast IPA, nicely balanced with a floral, resiny bitterness.

MN Rice is a strong (8% abv) Robust Porter brewed with, yes, really, Minnesota wild rice. Nicely warming, chocolatey, and roasty.

Belly is another real good clean beer, a Classic American Pilsner. It's grainy and appropriately sulfury, with just enough grassy hop flavor for balance.

Lark is a good dark lager, but it's probably darker than it needs to be.

Finally, the Barrel Aged RIS is an absolute facefull of beer. Intense and black and alcoholic and still very nicely balanced.

Inbound BrewCo is located at 701 North Fifth Street in Minneapolis. They're open Monday-Wednesday noon-10pm, Thursday-Friday noon-11pm, Saturday 11am-11pm, and Sunday 11am-10pm. And there are three or four breweries within walking distance, so plan accordingly! I know I will, next time I'm in that neighborhood. (I'm also going to work on my camera-focusing skills.)

Saturday, January 1, 2022

#10820 Equilibrium Astrophysics

 And the final beer of 2021 is Astrophysics, a 6.5% hazy IPA from Equilibrium Brewery in Middletown NY. Got it at Wine, Beer, and Spirits in Grand Island NE.

To be honest, I've had my fill of the hazy craze, but this label was too good to pass up. And the beer is fine, if you like orange Kool-Aid.

#10819 Pipeworks Lizard King

 Lizard King is a 6% abv IPA from Pipeworks Brewing in Chicago, Illinois. Got it at Northbound Liquor in Elk River MN.

Good beer, hugely tropical, but not all that complex.

#10818 Odd13 Le Tigre Blanc

Kind of an odd name for a dark lager, Le Tigre Blanc is a 5.5% abv Dunkel from Odd13 Brewing in Lafayette, Colorado. Got it at Wine, Beer, and Spirits in Grand Island NE.

It's really tasty, with a rich roasty malt character, not too dark and not too bitter. It reminds me a lot of the excellent Löwenbräu München Dunkel I tasted in 2003.

#10817 Evil Twin Even More Jesus

Even More Jesus, a 12% abv Imperial Stout from Evil Twin Brewing in Queens, New York. Got it at Wine, Beer, and Spirits in Grand Island NE.

It's intense and smooth. A whopping big beer. 

#10816 Weihenstephaner Helles

I'm kinda surprised I'd never had this one before! Helles, from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan in Freising, Bavaria. Got it from Wine, Beer, and Spirits in Grand Island NE.

Light and cleanly malty, with a mild noble floral hop flavor. Beer the way it's supposed to taste.

#10815 Deschutes Whiskey Butte Porter

Whiskey Butte Porter,  a 9% abv barrel aged beer from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. Got it at Wine, Beer, and Spirits in Grand Island NE.

Damn tasty, clean, mild, smooth beer.

#10814 Warrior Barbarian

Barbarian, a 12% abv Imperial Stout from Warrior Brewing in Duluth, Minnesota. Got it at Northbound Liquor in Elk River MN.

Thick and roasty and malty and treacle and surprisingly subdued alcohol. It's a real good sippin' beer.

#10813 Warrior Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale

Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale, from the fairly new Warrior Brewing Company in Duluth MN. Got it at Northbound Liquor in Elk River MN.

Thick, grassy, bready. The 9.5% abv shows up in the finish.

#10812 Lupulin Barrel Aged Lateralus with Vanilla and Cacao

 Here's the first of the nine beers that closed out 2021!

Barrel Aged Lateralus with Vanilla and Cacao, from Lupulin Brewing in Big Lake, Minnesota. Got it at Northbound Liquor in Elk River MN.

It's a real good beer, pretty intense at 13.1% abv, but it's real sweet. In fact, had I noticed the "vanilla and cacao" on the label, I probably wouldn't have picked it up. Still, it wasn't so sweet that I didn't enjoy it.